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About Us

Our Mission

The BINA Cultural Foundation, Inc. is committed to

…Fostering the continuity of the Ethiopian Jewish (Beta Israel) cultural heritage and promoting understanding of its traditions and history among Jews and non-Jews.

…Empowering Ethiopian Jews in the United States, Israel, and Ethiopia.

…Providing assistance to Ethiopian Jews who come to the U.S.

…Serving as a bridge between the Jewish, Ethiopian, and African-American communities.

…Working for greater understanding and inclusiveness among ethnic groups within the Jewish community.

BINA's Vision

BINA is an initiative by us to empower us…

BINA envisions Ethiopian Jews as an integral component of the Jewish people and works to ensure that their voices will be included in the Jewish community and add to the diversity of the Jewish people. BINA works for greater understanding and integration among ethnic groups within the Jewish community and beyond.

Since our establishment in 2003, we have worked to educate both the Jewish community and members of other communities about Ethiopian Jewish culture and history through our public programs, have provided resources for Ethiopian Jewish immigrants to the U.S., and have served as an advocate for Ethiopian Jews within the American Jewish community.

In addition, our aim is to provide an inclusive understanding of the Beta Israel community, and we welcome working with organizations both within and without the Jewish community to foster understanding and awareness of our culture and history.

Highlights of our activities:
  • BINA’s Annual Sheba Film Festival is now in its 10th year and is the only film festival of its kind in the U.S. This cultural extravaganza introduces the general public to films, artistic exhibitions and panel discussions about the history, culture, and life experiences of Ethiopian Jews.
  • BINA organizes Ethiopian Shabbat dinners, Sigd celebrations, Hannukah parties, and Passover seders at synagogues and community centers in the New York area and beyond.
  • BINA conducts cultural showcases. In the past, these have included an Ethiopian coffee ceremony.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Tadias Magazine

Events News New York (TADIAS) – The Sheba Film Festival will mark its 10th anniversary this year with its annual line-up of films honoring the diversity of Ethiopia’s global cultural and religious heritage. The event, which takes place at various venues in New York from May 21st to June 6th, will include several prizes for the audience in commemoration of the 10th year celebration, such as a round-trip ticket to Addis Ababa sponsored by Ethiopian Airlines.

Among the films highlighted this year include Town of Runners an acclaimed feature documentary about young runners from Bekoji —an Ethiopian highland town known for being home to some of the world’s greatest distance athletes, as well as The Well: Water Voices from Ethiopia introducing us to a unique water management system that allows the Borana people in the southern part of the country to distribute water as the property and right of everyone.
Thursday, June 6, 2013


June 5, 2013 - Last night, we drove to Manhattan, New York, to attend a film festival, the Sheba Film Festival, at the Jewish Community Center on 334 Amsterdam Avenue. Notice I said ‘last night’, because it is the first time since my eye surgery on April 3, that I dared to drive in the night. Two weeks ago, I had received a email announcing that a film titled, “Sheba Film Festival Re-Emerging: The Jews of Nigeria,” would be shown at the Center. My interest was piqued because I know some of us Igbo have been claiming that we are Jews, and extensive ink has been expended in Ph.D dissertations by some Igbo in trying to prove that we are, what to many people has been an exercise in tomfoolery. Hence I decided to publicize the event extensively, thinking that a lot of the Igbo in the New York area might wish to attend.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Tadias Magazine Events News Published: Monday, June 4, 2012 New York (TADIAS) – The Sheba Film Festival in New York opens this week. “For me it’s always a learning process not only in terms of interacting with the filmmakers, but also educating the public about the diversity of the Ethiopian Diaspora,” says Beejhy Barhany, who runs the annual program. “Every year is a whole different experience and perspective.” Beejhy is also the founder and director of BINA, an NYC-based foundation that promotes the history and culture of Ethiopian Jews. In a recent interview with TADIAS, she mentioned that her organization is already looking beyond this week to the 10th anniversary festival in 2013. “We’re planning a much bigger event,” Beejhy said. “We want a diverse group of filmmakers to participate not only from Israel but also from Ethiopia and the Diaspora.” Regarding selections for the Sheba Film Festival Beejhy says “The movies do not necessarily have to be related to Ethiopian Jews. It could be on any topic.” The 2012 Sheba Film Festival starts on Thursday, June 7th at the Faison Firehouse Theatre in Harlem with the screening of Jacques Faitlovitch and The Lost Tribes. Faitlovitch, who died in 1955, was a Polish-born researcher with a keen interest in Ethiopian Jews, and is credited for his efforts to make them part of the global Jewish community.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
New York (Tadias) – The 7th Annual Sheba Film Festival opened this past week in New York City. The annual event, organized by The BINA Cultural Foundation, showcases a diverse array of Ethiopia-related films from around the globe.
Monday, May 4, 2009
by Carolyn Slutsky By the time she was 7, Beejhy Barhany had fled her native Ethiopia, walking with her family and 300 villagers to Sudan, where they started a new life. After a few years they left again, this time taking a Jeep through the jungles of Kenya, on to Uganda, France and finally to Israel, which even at that young age she remembers was “like fulfilling a dream after exile.”
Friday, April 17, 2009
Tadias Magazine By Tadias Staff Published: Friday, April 17, 2009 New York (Tadias) - Now in its sixth year, the Sheba Film Festival is set to begin on May 6th in New York. The annual event organized by BINA Cultural Foundation Inc, primarily focuses on movies that pay homage to the rich legacy of Ethiopian Jews as well as the global Jewish and Ethiopian communities
Monday, December 29, 2008
By Tadias Staff Published: Monday, December 29, 2008 New York (Tadias) - Here are our 20 favorite people of the year we interviewed and/or featured their work in 2008. We look forward to 2009. Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Year in Review by The Tadias Team Published: Thursday, December 25, 2008 New York: (Tadias) - The following are our top ten favorite Ethiopian-American related events that we attended and/or featured in 2008. We wish all our readers "Happy Holidays!" We look forward to the New Year, and to continue highlighting events and personalities that make ours one of the most vibrant immigrant communities in the country. Happy New Year from all of us at! Counting down the Top 10 Events of 2008 at
Thursday, June 26, 2008
By Tadias Staff Published: Thursday, June 26, 2008 New York (Tadias) - The final event of the Ethiopian Millennium Celebration Series hosted by the Beta Israel of North America foundation will include a presentation of photography by Ethiopian and American photographers at the State Building in Harlem, NY, Friday night. The photographs presented in this exhibition were taken by five professional photographers, each devoted to documenting and representing Ethiopian culture in Ethiopia, Israel, and the United States. The photographs represent a wide spectrum of artistic styles and subjects.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
By Tadias Staff Published: Tuesday June 24, 2008 New York (Tadias) - This past Sunday, at Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a panel discussion entitled "Ethiopia: The Three Faiths" attracted a diverse and large audience. The event hosted by Beta Israel of North America foundation began with cultural dances from the Indian subcontinent and an Ethiopian dance troupe called Keremela.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
The 5th Annual Sheba Film Festival took place on June 15 at the Manhattan JCC by celebrating the lives of Ethiopian Jews in Ethiopia and Israel through film. The films represented a diverse crossspectrum of Jewish and Ethiopian life.
Friday, June 6, 2008
While the official Ethiopian Millennium fell on September 11, 2007, nine months later, the celebration is far from being over. Ethiopians filled the intimate Joe’s Pub located on 425 Lafayette Street in New York on Saturday May 31st for the Ethiopian Millennium Celebration Concert.
Monday, May 12, 2008
New York (Tadias) - New Yorkers will mark the Ethiopian Millennium in the city this summer with a series of high profile events that include a concert, a photography exhibition, a film festival and a panel discussion.
Monday, May 5, 2008
New York (Tadias) - An Ethiopian-Israeli play, based on a true story told from a perspective of a ten-year-old boy named Andargay, is making the rounds in the United States in conjunction with Israel’s 60th anniversary. I managed to catch One of a Kind at the New Victory Theater in New York.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
BINA holds a Shabbat service at the Village Temple, including an Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
A description of BINA, its mission, and activities.
Saturday, January 1, 2005
A description of BINA, its mission, and activities.